Jeff Goodman's Mock Draft 3.0
Embiid, Wiggins, Parker all in play for No. 1 overall slot
The NBA's draft lottery is more than a week in the rearview mirror and now we've had a chance to accumulate some intel with the NBA draft now just about a month away.
Here's my third mock, based on the latest information I've gathered.
Remember, this isn't a mock draft based on what I would do. It's based on info gathered from NBA executives, college coaches and other industry sources. It's my hunch based on what I've heard so far.
Analysis: Cavs GM David Griffin has a difficult decision to make between the 7-foot Embiid and a pair of contrasting forwards: Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Multiple sources insist that the Cavs favor Embiid as long as the medical info regarding the back injury that kept him off the court in March checks out clean.
Analysis: The Bucks will have a choice between the ultra-athletic Wiggins and the skilled Parker if Embiid is off the board. That will be an agonizing decision for GM John Hammond, who will balance taking the more-NBA ready Parker and Wiggins, who appears to have the higher upside. Hammond can ill afford to miss here, and that will be why he ultimately goes with Parker.
Analysis: The Sixers are actually in a no-lose situation with the third pick, with general manager Sam Hinkie getting whichever part of the Embiid, Wiggins, Parker trio falls in their lap. The need is a small forward, and Wiggins would fit in perfectly alongside two building block athletes: Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.
Analysis: The Lakers have numerous needs and will go with the best player on the board. Vonleh has an NBA-ready body and is more skilled than many realize. He could be a player, in time, who develops into a star and that is exactly what the Lakers need.
Analysis: The Kings need both a shooter and a player who can inject some toughness into the lineup. GM Pete D'Alessandro could opt for Doug McDermott, but look for him to take Bay Area product Aaron Gordon, who could complement DeMarcus Cousins well up front because of his athleticism and defensive intensity.
Analysis: The Hornets have a nice inside-outside duo in Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker, but they could use a forward who can spread the court and make shots. McDermott can do that, and possesses a versatile and deceptive offensive game that would flourish with Walker and a skilled big man.
Analysis: If the Sixers wind up grabbing Wiggins with the No. 3 pick, with this selection they should target a guy who can make shots. Stauskas is a big-time shooter who is a deceptive athlete, possesses a high basketball IQ and also has good size.
Analysis: The Magic could use a shooter and Hennigan loves length. Young was hardly a knockdown shooter as a freshman at Kentucky last season, but he is a guy who can become a consistent shot-maker in time.
Analysis: Payne is a tremendous talent and a difficult matchup due to his ability to step out and make shots from beyond the arc and also get things done in the paint. The Suns need to upgrade their frontcourt and Payne could help in that regard.
Analysis: Sam Presti doesn't need much -- but we know he's had success with international guys in the past. Porzingis is long and skilled, and is intriguing enough for the Thunder to try to develop him.
Analysis: The Grizzlies need a knockdown shooting wing and Hairston has NBA range and makes it look easy. He's also tough, can defend and put up numbers in the D-League in 2013-14.
Analysis: The Hornets could use a backup point guard and why not have Kemba Walker tutor Napier, replicating the dynamic that existed at UConn a few years ago.
Analysis: The Rockets could use an athletic point guard with size who also can defend. Clarkson is long, athletic and can get into the lane and both score and distribute.
Analysis: This one depends on whether McGary's back checks out in the medical evaluation. But he's a strong, physical and hard-playing big man who can rebound and provide a presence in the middle.
Analysis: It's unlikely the Suns use all three of their first-round picks, but if they do, look for GM McDonough to go overseas with one. Capela is from Switzerland and played in France this past year.
Analysis: No one boosted his stock more in a single game than Early did in the NCAA tournament against Kentucky. He is a versatile wing who can shoot it and also put it on the floor and get to the rim.
Analysis: McDaniels is an athletic wing who shot it better than most expected he would at Clemson. He thrives in the open court and could be a quality rotation guy in OKC.
Analysis: The Spurs love high basketball IQ players. Adams isn't an explosive athlete, but he uses angles and knows how to score.